BRUSSELS, Belgium – Last week the European Commission published its White Paper on Transport in which it presents ambitious plans for clean mobility in urban areas through a shift to cleaner cars. The European Twowheel Retailers’ Association (ETRA) believes that the importance of two-wheelers for personal mobility and clean transport continues to be overlooked.
The European Association for some 5,000 bicycle, moped and motorcycle dealers welcomes the publication of the new White Paper on Transport. This strategy document which outlines the main challenges facing the transport sector up to 2050 presents the vision of a safe, green and competitive transport system. ETRA praises these goals, particularly since the White Paper presents an ambitious plan for mobility in urban areas, but believes that the importance of two-wheelers for personal mobility and clean transport continues to be overlooked.
“We are pleased to see the European Commission taking a tough line on decarbonisation of transport. The goal which the EU has set itself to cut emissions of green house gases by 60% by 2050 is very ambitious and we believe that increasing the use of two-wheelers can play an important part in reaching this aim” said Annick Roetynck, secretary General of ETRA.
“However given that a quarter of CO2 emissions from transport occur in cities, it is unfortunate that the European Commission doesn’t give a bigger role to existing low-carbon mobility options such as traditional and electric bicycles and electric scooters, mopeds and motorcycles.”
ETRA believes that increasing the share of cycling and motorised two-wheelers in urban transport can help reach several goals set out in the White Paper. Promoting soft modes of transport such as walking and cycling and clean motorised transport such as electric scooters and motorbikes can help achieve the objective of phasing out conventionally-fuelled cars in cities by 2050, since these do not require the roll-out of new infrastructure.
This will help respond to the issue of land use and reduce congestion, another aim of the Communication which will not be solved by a shift to cleaner cars.
The White Paper’s “zero-vision” on road safety is one that ETRA fully supports, particularly given the focus on vulnerable users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Motorcyclists in particular have disproportionately high accident and fatality rates compared to distances travelled, and have specific needs as regards infrastructure which ETRA is pleased to see taken into account.
“Unlike electric cars, two-wheelers offer a solution for sustainable transport in cities which is available immediately, and brings with it a number of benefits for road safety, public health, green employment and social cohesion. We hope that decision-makers will take the potential of these vehicles into account in future legislation”, said Annick Roetynck.